DS Smith Sets Sights on Removable Plastic

 Breaking News
  • First Milk Acquires Fonterra’s 51% Stake in Fast Forward Joint Venture First Milk, a wholly British farmer-owned dairy co-operative, has agreed to purchase Fonterra’s 51% share of its Fast Forward joint venture, established in 2011, and has entered a new strategic partnership with Havero Hoogwegt for global WPC80 sales and distribution. From July 2019, First Milk will be the sole owner of the whey protein concentrate [...]...
  • Leaders in Luxury Packaging Join London’s Most Exclusive Packaging Event Luxury Packaging London 2019 will celebrate its 10th anniversary when it returns to Olympia on 11 & 12 September, hosted alongside Packaging Innovations. As the UK’s leading luxury packaging event, it will bring together over 180 exhibitors and a dedicated audience of senior buyers, all looking to source the latest in luxury packaging solutions. With consumer concerns [...]...
  • The Lakes Distillery Announces £3.75 Million Investment The Lakes Distillery, based in Cumbria, England, has secured a £3.75 million investment from a group of investors led by Gresham House Asset Management, a specialist equity investment and asset management company. Joining existing investors and high-net-worth individuals, who recently made an additional £1.6 million investment, this is a milestone for the distillery and Gresham [...]...
  • Kerry Group Inaugurates New Production Facility in India Kerry Group has officially opened its new €20 million production facility in Tumkur, India. The new, state-of-the-art 40,585 square metre facility, located 120 km from Bangalore, will serve Kerry Taste & Nutrition’s global and regional customers in the South West Asia region, with Kerry Taste and Beverage systems for the fast-growing retail and foodservice markets. This is Kerry Group’s [...]...
  • Lamb Weston to Acquire Australian Frozen Potato Processor Lamb Weston has agreed to acquire Ready Meals, a frozen potato processor in Australia. Terms were not disclosed. Ready Meals sells frozen potato products under the Harvest Choice brand and operates frozen potato processing and storage facilities in Hallam, Victoria. Lamb Weston, along with its joint venture partners, is a leading supplier of frozen potato, sweet [...]...

DS Smith Sets Sights on Removable Plastic

DS Smith Sets Sights on Removable Plastic
May 30
08:44 2019
DS Smith, a leading international sustainable packaging company, has released new research which finds that 1.5 million tonnes of plastic could be replaced each year from just five areas within supermarkets across Europe[1]. Its report, ‘Transforming the Supermarket Aisle’, was developed in conjunction with White Space, the leading growth strategy consultancy.It identifies plastic packaging, such as fresh produce punnets and shrink wrap, which supermarkets can replace with alternative, renewable materials. The five categories identified account for over 70 billion individual units of plastic (over 1.5 million tonnes) per year and are highlighted as targets for reduction and replacement by the packaging company.Miles Roberts, CEO of DS Smith, comments: “It is clear that we all have a big job to do, but we can already see through our research some of the potential answers. Our research demonstrates that simple changes in the materials used could make a big difference for retailers, thereby reducing plastic use by millions of tonnes over the next decade. While there is no silver bullet, we know that sustainable fibre-based packaging has a huge role to play, appealing to our customers and consumers alike.”

Paper and cardboard has an 85 per cent rate of recycling across Europe[2] and brings additional benefits for brands like digital printing and customisation. DS Smith has identified the following areas for innovation or substitution in retail:

  1. Plastic display trays: Often overlooked as shoppers don’t take them home, plastic trays on supermarket shelves have fibre alternatives and could be eliminated from the shelves.
  2. Fresh produce punnets: Plastic punnets are commonly used to package fresh produce across Europe and there is a significant opportunity for replacement.
  3. Shrink wrap: Nearly all soft drinks units are shrink wrapped at one stage of their life. As manufacturers consider non-plastic alternatives, corrugate and glue solutions were seen by our panel as ‘next generation’[3].
  4. Ready meals: Packaging needs are more complex in the ready-meal category, but change is on its way as corrugate alternatives are introduced following further innovation.
  5. Meat, fish and cheese: This segment represents a significant opportunity for innovation and replacement, with fibre-based alternatives well positioned.
There is a strong approval rate for cardboard among consumers at 55 per cent, compared to plastics at 7 per cent and polystyrene at 1 per cent in Europe[4]. Meanwhile, with 85 per cent of European consumers willing to pay a 12 per cent premium for sustainably packaged goods, only a third (36 per cent) of Europeans believe brands and retailers are doing enough to introduce more sustainable packaging[5].Miles Roberts adds: “The replacement opportunity is just the tip of the iceberg, particularly when you consider additional sectors such as e-commerce or industrials. More work needs to be done, but we are making a start today by identifying a significant opportunity within the retail sector. We look forward to collaborating with our customers in response.”The 1.5 million tonnes identified is just part of the 20 million tonnes of plastic packaging, which includes retail, consumer goods and e-commerce, produced in Europe each year.[6] While industry is responding with packaging innovation and redesign using eminently recyclable materials, industry and government are important stakeholders in future progress.The report commissioned by DS Smith estimates that the total market for replacement of these items is worth around £5.7 billion per year. The fresh produce punnet category alone is potentially worth over £2 billion per year[7] to the fibre industry.

In addition to industry collaboration, DS Smith is calling on governments to do more. In the UK for example, there are a number of key pieces of upcoming legislation which will impact the sector. Once in place, initiatives such as a Plastics Tax, Extended Producer Responsibility reforms, collection policy and the introduction of deposit return schemes could deliver improved packaging circularity and promote innovation.DS Smith will be hosting an Innovation Think Tank in Brussels in September to support its ongoing drive to tackle the plastic replacement challenge and invites industry leaders and our customers wishing to collaborate to register their interest here.

[1] White Space Analysis

[2]Eurostat ‘Packaging waste by waste management operations and waste flow’ 2016 data

[3] White Space Primary Research

[4] CPI

[5] Procarton, European Consumer Packaging Perceptions Study, October 2018

[6] PlasticsEurope – The Facts 2018

[7] White Space and DS Smith Analysis

About Author



Related Articles

Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition 2016

Upcoming Events

  • October 17, 2019Future Food-Tech
AEC v1.0.4

Jobs: Food Packaging

find food jobs

The Magazine

F&D Business Preferred Suppliers

New Subscriber

Subscribe Here